MANILA – Just like it did with the Taal volcano eruption, the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak, the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), and other crises, the government will be ready to respond to the return of bird flu in the country, Malacañang said on Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo gave this assurance after the Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed the detection of avian influenza in a quail farm in Jaen, Nueva Ecija.
“Kahit na anong klaseng problema, ready tayo diyan eh. Pinaghandaan na natin lahat iyan. Wala tayong choice kung hindi salubungin natin at gawan natin ng paraan (Whatever kind of problem, we’re ready for it. We have prepared for all of them. We have no choice but to face and address it),” he said in a Palace briefing.
He admitted that the crises were happening one after another but expressed optimism that the government would be able to respond to these different situations.
“Kumbaga, sinusubukan tayo ng tadhana (It’s as if destiny is testing us), we have to rise to the challenge of the times,” he said.
He said the agriculture department has established protocols to prevent the spread of animal disease just like it did with ASF.
“We will address the situation,” he said.
In a separate press briefing, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said while still conducting supplementary tests, immediate disease control measures were conducted to mitigate the spread of the bird virus.
DA learned of the resurgence of the bird virus after the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) of Nueva Ecija received reports of increased mortalities of 1,500 out of 15,000 quails in one farm in Barangay Ulanin-Pitak, Jaen, Nueva Ecija last week.
Currently, a total of 12,000 quails have been surgically stamped out, noting that cleaning and disinfection procedures were implemented accordingly, he said.
He said surveillance around the 1-km and 7-km radius will be carried out to ensure that the disease has not progressed around the said perimeter.
The DA has also established animal quarantine checkpoints to restrict the movement of all live domestic birds to and from the 1-km radius quarantine area.
There is no reported case of human infection in the country so far.
Human infections are primarily acquired through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated environments, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
Avian influenza infections in humans may cause disease ranging from mild upper respiratory infection (fever and cough) to rapid progression to severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, shock, and even death. (PNA)